Love of the Land

The art of preserving food for the winter

Discover the art of traditional food preservation with our Palazzetto local, Mamma Olga. Mamma Olga has spent more than 50 years working in the Italian kitchen, a passion that began when she was a girl learning classic recipes handed down from her mother.

As the autumn bounty is harvested, Mamma Olga shows guests how Italian women have historically preserved the season's fruit and vegetables through boiling, pickling and drying, using methods that she still employs today to make those staples of the Italian pantry, such as bottled tomatoes for pasta sauce and winter broths, pickled vegetables, and a colourful array of seasonal jam.

Local history comes alive as Mamma Olga, who married into one of the farming families that managed Borgo early last century, shares her own recipes and stories, describing some of the myriad ways that resourceful Tuscan housewives stretched their reserves across the leaner months before the advent of the fridge and freezer. Miraculous garden herbs, communal ovens and the various uses of the local well are just some of the stories one may hear as Mamma Olga sets the water to boil and invites guests to put on an apron and participate in a living Tuscan tradition.

What you will learn:

How the autumn harvest is transformed into winter preserves, such as bottled tomatoes, pickled vegetables and jam.

Hours: Two hours by arrangement.

Instructor: 'Mamma Olga' Bafile

Lessons are in Italian with an English interpreter.

Cost: €95 per person, including a souvenir jar of preserved food.

For more information about our Love of the Land course, please send an email to or phone +39 0577 75 1222.